Left: Gabriel circa, 1982
Right: Age Progressed to age 48
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: January 14, 1982
Missing From: Tarentum, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: October 5, 1971
Age: 10 years old
Height and Weight: 4’0″ and 60 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Male, Brown hair, Hazel eyes, one of Gabriel’s front teeth was chipped at the time of his 1982 disappearance, he has a mole on his right wrist
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A maroon jacket and boots
NCMEC Number: 603366
Details of Disappearance
Gabriel was last seen on January 14th 1982 with a friend, Jon Dabkowski, in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. He and Jon ate supper at Jon’s home and left to walk three blocks down to Gabriel’s residence. The boys were never seen again.
Authorities believe it’s possible that Gabriel and Jon were playing on the Tarentum rivers ice and fell through. There were boot prints that led down to river but there weren’t any that led away from the river. There was no evidence that anyone had fallen in. Jon was warned by his parents not to go down to the river and he obeyed this rule. Extensive searches of the river turned up no sign of the boys or their bodies.
Apparently an identity thief stole Jon’s identity in 1998. A police officer stopped him at one point and the man showed the officer the license with Jon’s name. He realized that Jon had been reported missing and authorities notified the Dabkowski family of this. They had thought that Jon was ok and had been found.
It was later found out that this was not Jon and that the man, Neil B. Hammons, had gotten Jon’s information from a missing persons website. He had nothing to do with Jon’s or Gabriel’s disappearance.
Gabriel’s case remains unsolved. His family the house he vanished from 8 years after his disappearance and authorities have lost contact with them. Due to lack of evidence, some agencies list Gabriel’s case as an abduction.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Tarentum Police Department 412-224-1515
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children